The selected writings of Jean Genet

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HarperCollins Publishers, Oct 1, 1993 - Drama - 462 pages
This comprehensive volume celebrates the legendary work of one of this century's most enigmatic, intriguing, and heralded writers by bringing together for the first time a generous selection of Genet's greatest work. Published to coincide with White's new biography of Genet.

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OUT Lady oj the Flowers
Funeral Rites

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About the author (1993)

Jean Genet's life was full of sorrow and rebellion. Born illegitimately in 1910, he was abandoned by his mother, raised by Public Assistance, and sent to live with foster parents at the age of seven. He turned to thievery and prostitution at an early age and was sent to a reform school and, later, to prison. Many of these early experiences form the basis of his well-known works, including Miracle of the Rose and The Thief's Journal. Genet began writing in 1942, while in prison. His first work, Our Lady of the Flowers, was written slowly, since his manuscripts were repeatedly seized by prison officials. Like many of Genet's works, it contains highly homoerotic scenes and is based on his experiences and dreams as a prisoner and prostitute. In 1948, Genet was convicted for the 10th time for stealing, which carried an automatic penalty of life imprisonment. Several famous artists, including Sartre and Cocteau, rushed to his aid and were able to secure a pardon. Soon after, he began writing for the theatre. Plays such as The Blacks and The Balcony are considered classics of avant-garde drama, designed to shock the audience. These plays are from the movement known as The Theatre of the Absurd, which are based on the Existential philosophies of Albert Camus. Jean Genet died in Paris on April 15, 1986.

Author Edmund White was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 13, 1940. He majored in Chinese at the University of Michigan. Before spending a year in Rome, he worked for Time-Life Books from 1962 until 1970. Upon his return, he became an editor for The Saturday Review and Horizon. He lived in France from 1983 until 1990. His works have chronicled gay life with such books as A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony.

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